Reports are flooding in of a mid-air crash between two planes near Charleston, South Carolina.
Eyewitnesses told local media sources about an “explosion in the sky” near Cooper River, Berkeley County. It was later confirmed that a collision had taken place between an F-16 fighter jet and a Cessna civilian plane, according to RT.
Multiple eyewitnesses describe midair collision
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WCSC’s Bill Walsh reports that the F-16 pilot managed to eject safely, but his plane crashed near Lewisfield Plantation.
A spokesman for the Berkely County Sherriff’s Office, Michael Mule, confirmed that the plane crash happened near the Lewisfield Plantation in Moncks Corner.
Emergency services are searching for wreckage of the Cessna, and a helicopter crew is searching in a nearby canal. Details about those on board the Cessna are not yet known, but there is still hope that they may have survived the midair collision.
Emergency radio dispatches reveal that a Coast Guard rescue helicopter had located the pilot’s parachute in a body of water, and a rescue swimmer was entering the water. The South Carolina Air National Guard has since confirmed that an F-16 was involved in the collision, but it wasn’t one of their planes.
Debris scattered among trailers
Photos have since been published showing debris from the planes scattered on the ground near the site of the crash, but no further injuries have been reported.
The wreckage of the F-16 identifies the plane as part of the 55th Fighter Squadron (55 FS), which forms part of the U.S. Air Force 20th Fighter Wing. The Wing is based at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina.
The crash site is located approximately 30 miles north of Charleston. Search efforts are ongoing.
It has not yet been confirmed how the two planes were able to come into contact, or what kind of maneuver the F-16 was undertaking. The story continues to develop, so check back for further updates.